NED (NOT BREAD)

EDIBLE PACKAGING

A few summers ago we were on a camping trip with another couple and one of the partners  had a gluten allergy. We had stopped  at drive-thru for a quick refuel on the way back. The gluten free friend (GFF) had ordered a vegan burger with a lettuce wrap to avoid the bun. What a mess! There were condiments all over her hands and  subsequently, my car!   Not only is the gluten a problem, it’s also the high carbs of that bun. A typical burger bun is some 40 grams of high glycemic index refined white flour. There had to be a better way.

When we got back to or studio, I grabbed ( hang on, not physically)  a colleague and  we brainstormed. I always loved the genius of the edible ice cream cone, especially the  one inaccurately named the “cake” cone.  I did a little research  and these wonders of industrialization, a literal injection  molding  of water and flour are only 6 grams of carbs and that’s with rice flour. And, it gets better…, if you use almond flour, you can bring the carb count down to zero! Not to mention how brilliant the whole  family of edible  packages are!  Taco shells! Sushi! And then.. wholly cow ,  and  start digging in more,  and  did you know  the average common restaurant – remember those , burrito  flour tortilla  can be 80 grams of  carbs!!!

The big idea was to make a small edible piece of luggage, kidding, not luggage but a bread or tortilla  replacement that could be gluten free if needed  and lower carb. This is good for celiacs, diabetics and everyone that wants to lower their ingestion of high glycemic  index carbohydrates.  By the way,  the term “Keto” was Google searched for more than Subaru in the Pacific NW.

In terms of design,  this concept  allows  almost infinite shape, color, texture and flavor. This concept can replace anything where bread is simply a carrier. Think pizza, tacos, burritos, all the bread shapes,  even low carb snacks like crackers can be NED. Best of all if you were brought up by TV like some of  us were, then  you’ll love  the brand-ability of this concept. See the images above.

Knowing there’s a fair amount of tooling (though relatively inexpensive per mold) to make these things, we approached the Joy Cone company with NED. They are biggest  ice cream cone maker in the U.S.  with plants in Pennsylvania and Arizona. Joy makes special branded cones for  some of their largest customers.

I don’t  want to say we’re brilliant, but I think  given the hand friendliness, this qualifies as thumbelievable!

Ok, shutting up now –  have a look!

 

ARIEL CHAIR

When they go low, we go high.

The Ariel chair is an update to the Crane chair. This new version  adds a visually thicker mold-able cellular structure that conforms to the  users’ body.

The Ariel Chair  features that same elastomer powered lift mechanism that allows users to set up standing desks and sit only when needed. Users can sit and lean against the Ariel with its easily locked casters. Ariel’s more minimal i-Back encourages active postures.

Complex only 3D printable structures are super intriguing, but really hard to make. At the moment, 3D printing while compellin,g is unbelievably slow compared to modern injection molding. This design  creates a thermally neutral  cellular surface that is cleanable and most importantly, mold-able.

SofStick

After a friend’s kid got  hurt while playing with a stick, we had an idea. Why not make a safe stick? All kids love sticks, right?! SofStick is that safe stick. Made from elastomeric bead foam (think  that molded packing foam that protects your new iMac), Sofstick provides all the fun of a real stick without the stabbing risk. Also, SofSticks float so can easily be a replacement for a foam pool noodle and be an all season toy. We designed a 46″long sword size SofStick and a thicker SofLog version.

BANDIT

An orthodontist came to FUSE with an idea  that can speed orthodontia.   The problem is an orthodondist will generally guess at the size of the band he or she needs to use on a particular tooth. More experienced orthodontists are more likely to get this right but they often get this wrong as well. This takes time and wastes bands or these wrong ones need to be autoclaved.  Our client wanted a way to measure teeth that would work for  an unlimited number of  patients. This Orthodontist’s plan was to sell  the eventual product to a large orthodontic supplier like Ormco.

We came up with  what we called the BandIt.  The Bandit was a simple one handed electromechanical device that used a consumable stainless steel loop that would wrap around the tooth and provide a measurement and recommend a particular size band on its built in LCD display.

 

Aquaduct

DIY Plumbing in the house of the future.

GE Plastics built a  conceptual house utilizing the thermoplastics and their latest thinking in terms of  sustainability. GE was way ahead of the game back in the 90’s. They knew thermoplastics could be recycled and reused.  Their plan was to have manufacturers use engineering grade thermoplastic in applications that required virgin materials like food and medical and then cascade down into automotive , then finally into building and construction where they could live for a longer period of time before obsolescence

One virgin application  FUSE principal Tory worked on straight out of school was this blow molded plumbing panel dubbed the Aquaduct. The idea was this  panel replaced all the measuring and cutting of copper. Quick fit connectors would be used so plumbing this sort of common  sink installation job could be a snap!

BikeBark

This was a proactive project  providing a solution to the problem of bike parking since  most bike have lost kickstands. The problem is  you lean your bike against paint damaging poles and then  your bike suffers  more than cosmetic damage.  We got this into Wired magazine and sold into REI. The rubber manufacturer who was pressing  BIKEBARK bought the product a few months after we premiered at Interbike.

Bipets

Hybrids are the future.

Furilla had some moderate success in that it was optioned by toy maker and purveyor Kid Robot. FUSE principal, Tory Orzeck,  has this ongoing chicken love and had this idea for a line of toys based on the offspring of 4 legged mammals getting together with chickens.  Of course, single eyed  creatures are also close to heart. This would result in these bipedal animals  he dubbed BIPETS. He pitched  the idea to KidRobot but got a big “Meh”.

 

Radius Multitool

Gerber came back to FUSE to help design a multitool that was designed for a slightly different demographic. A demographic that would appreciate  a more hand friendly tool.  This group would include maybe an older user and women. This meant easier tool deployment and a reduction of point load  on the hand.

Florbot Robotic Vacuum

 Mayan Temple Or Cute Floor Cleaning Friend?

Florbot was created as a market development tool for GE Plastics (now Sabic) to stimulate material sales in the floor cleaning appliance market. FUSE principle, Tory Orzeck, then in the GE Plastics Advanced Design and Development Group worked with Carnegie Mellon Robotics technologist Alan Branch to develop this prototype. The product leveraged  bleeding edge technology at the time and GE’s portfolio of engineering thermoplastics.

To use, the owner would take Florbot out of the box, charge him up and and set him against a wall. Like an old graphics fill program, Florbot would circumscribe the perimeter, then sweep the interior area and  go back to its charging station when done.

Design-wise we knew the product would always be visible so the design was a combination or architectural and companion robot, think R2D2.  We especially like that the dust bin’s handle doubles as a mouth. Additionally Florbot’s cap was made from translucent amber ULTEM. At the time, GE was pushing the idea that copper traces could be imaged directly onto heat resistant ULTEM so surface mount components could be attached  directly.

 

Growler Hiking Boot

Keen came to FUSE  wanting to build a lightweight hiking boot.  We delivered multiple named concepts and arrived at a design that would ultimately become the design above. By using an eye stay and protective toe bumper elements  that reference KEEN’s hallmark Newport sandal  we were able to provide a product that  feels like a  a design sibling.